Foreign leaders, president and 2024 candidates talk cross-Strait peace

20 May, 2023

Courtesy of ICRT


The United Kingdom and Japan have agreed to an enhanced global strategic partnership, in which they characterize peace across the Taiwan Strait as "indispensable" to a safe and prosperous world. They have also urged China to act responsibly on the world stage.


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio signed the Hiroshima Accord, in Hiroshima, where this year's G7 Summit is being held, from today through Sunday, to strengthen cooperation in a broad range of areas, including defense.


Here in Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to make maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait one of the top priorities for the end of her second and final term in office.


Speaking at a news conference to mark seven years since her 20 May 2016 inauguration, Tsai said peace was the only option for Taiwan in terms of ties with China, and it was an issue that had become key to global peace and prosperity.


Tsai said that despite China's provocative military action and attempts to diplomatically isolate Taiwan, Taiwan citizens have reacted in a calm and reasonable manner instead of rashly and aggressively, demonstrating Taiwan's characteristics as a free and democratic country.


Tsai said the efforts to maintain to status quo were the bottom line for Taiwan, adding that the country opposed any unilateral changes.


Meanwhile the opposition Kuomintang’s (KMT) presidential candidate says most people do not accept China "forcibly imposing a unification model on Taiwan" and that's why he will boost the island's self-defence capabilities if elected.


The statement by Hou Yu-ih is being seen as a response to comments by Vice President and ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te, after he warned about Hou's acceptance of the "1992 consensus" and the "one China principle."


Lai described Hou's alleged opinions about the consensus and the principle as being "regrettable" - saying both are Chinese propaganda and part of Beijing's intimidation campaign to divide Taiwan.


Hou said any ruling government of Taiwan needs to shore up its defence against enemy invasion and a divided Taiwan has continued to weaken the island's competitiveness and could even lead to its downfall.


Hou also accused the DPP of intentionally adopting an ideology of national strategy by insisting that people either be friendly toward the United States or toward China.

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